Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Amazon joins the UV cloud.

Storing content in the Internet cloud makes a lot of sense both for consumers and service providers because it allows for access to content from any connected device. Of course, the problem is that there's no cloud. That is, there's no ubiquitous content storage available to consumers independently from service providers. Therefore, cloud content is tied to your content provider; switching the provider means losing the content.
UV, a new video and digital rights format proposed by a consortium of IT, CE, movie studios, and service providers, promises to solve the problem. Amazon seems to be joining the group:
January 10, 2012. CNET -- ... today, Bill Carr, Amazon's executive vice president of digital, said during a panel discussion at CES, that the merchant had signed a deal with one of the major film studios to support UV rights.
Why this transition is potentially important?

One, it increases the demand for storage, computing, and network bandwidth. Two, it reduces risks and transaction costs for legally acquired  content. Three, it commoditizes service providers, which should improve content availability. Four, it creates incentives for studios to merchandize their content (at least initially.)

I don't see a real downside yet. If they over-promise and under-deliver, consumers will stay locked with their current service providers for a longer time. For example, neither Apple nor Google are participating in the effort.

From a system perspective, this is a change in Packaged Payload, which can trigger a ripple of effect across the rest of the system. Amazon, having the Source (cloud service), the Tool (Kindle Fire),  and the Control (content selection and delivery sites and applications) stands to benefit the most.

As background, here's a brief description of UV from CNET (20120105):
The pitch from UltraViolet's supporters goes something like this: users could acquire what are essentially lifetime rights to movies and shows. The rights to certain content could be easily transferred from one service provider to another if the owner chooses to switch or if one the services closes down. Owners wouldn't have to fear losing or breaking their movies anymore because all the material would live in the cloud and be accessible via Web-connected TVs, handhelds, computers, and set-top boxes. DECE said families who use UltraViolet "will be able to create an account for up to six members who can access the household's UltraViolet movies, TV and other entertainment...consumers will also be able to register up to 12 devices" so UltraViolet content can be easily downloaded to those devices or shared between them."

tags: payload, system, video, information, entertainment

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